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REITWorld 2010: Day One Recap

11/15/2010 | By Matthew Bechard

A trip to the New York Stock Exchange highlighted the opening day of REITWorld 2010: NAREIT's Annual Convention for All Things REIT.

In addition to being one of the largest industry gatherings of the year, with management teams from more than 130 REITs and REOCs in attendance, this event is the focal point of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of REITs and NAREIT. To commemorate the milestone, NAREIT's executive board was on hand at the Stock Exchange as 2011 NAREIT Chair Bryce Blair rang the opening bell.

Following the bell ringing, the focus returned to the site of the conference, the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, where three industry leaders were honored. Doug Crocker, former president and CEO of Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR), received the 2010 Edward B. Linde Industry Leadership Award. Gil Menna of Goodwin Procter received the 2010 E. Lawrence Miller Industry Achievement Award.

Later, Blair hosted a luncheon panel discussion. Participants included Mike Fascitelli, CEO of Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO); Archstone CEO Scot Sellers; Martin Cohen, co-chairman and co-CEO of Cohen & Steers Capital Management; and Guillame Poitrinal, chairman and CEO French REIT Unibail Rodamco (Paris: UL.PA).

Much of the panel discussion focused on the lessons learned during the "Great Recession." Blair kicked off the conversation, stating that the "last couple of years have been one heckuva capstone in our industry." Cohen identified the hallmarks of the commercial real estate companies that made it through the economic slump, including financial acumen and organizational strength.

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